MANILA, Philippines — Ruthless in attack, Loyola Meralco demolished Philippine Army, 5-0, last night to forge an intriguing semifinal duel with reigning league champion Global in the United Football League Cup at University of Makati pitch.
Fil-British striker Mark Hartmann produced a hat trick for the Sparks, who dominated the only remaining Armed Forces squad in the tournament with their slick passing and quick movement off the ball.
Hartmann was actually involved in all five goals, setting up Korean midfielder Jeong Byeong-yeol and Phil Younghusband, who also got on the scoresheet as Loyola survived the bruising duel played on a wet pitch.
Global downed Kaya, 2-1, in extra time Tuesday to clinch the first semifinal seat of the tournament.
Hartmann opened the scoring in the sixth minute from long range, getting the ball from Anto Gonzales, who burst down the middle and wisely beat the Army offside trap to open up the defense.
For all his superb play, Army keeper Ed Sacapano got little protection from his backline as the Sparks took a 3-0 lead in the 72nd minute when Hartmann found Younghusband racing at the far post for the easiest of finishes.